Benue PDP queries Alia’s link with Fulani security outfit, Al-Tershak, predicts dangers

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The Benue state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP has queried the relationship between the state governor, Hyacinth Alia and a Fulani security outfit known as Al-Tershak which was inaugurated in Makurdi last week by a profiled Boko Haram member, Aliyu Tershaku.

The Benue PDP in a press statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom yesterday said that it is dangerous that Governor Alia is claiming not to be aware of the outfit despite that a member of his administration was there at its inauguration to officially represent him.

The statement reads:

Danger signals are beginning blip over the security situation in Benue State with the inauguration last Saturday of a security outfit known as Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd established by one Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku.

The security outfit which is known to have among its top commanders men of Fulani ethnic stock and whose founder, Aliyu Tershaku, is profiled by security agencies as a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, has already swung into operation with its operatives sited over the last couple of days in parts of Makurdi, the Benue State capital city.

According to reports, the security outfit was commissioned at a ceremony in Makurdi attended by the Chief Protocol Officer to the Deputy Governor of the state representing his boss on behalf of the Alia administration, and in his remarks there, he did indicate the administration’s recognition of the outfit, advising its leaders to profile their operatives carefully.

The state’s chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) finds it disturbing that following the alarm it raised over this development, Governor Hyacinth Alia came out yesterday to deny any knowledge of the existence of this outfit.

The Governor through his Chief Press Secretary, Kula Tersoo, denied knowledge of the outfit, even implying that the Chief Protocol Officer to the Deputy Governor who was purported to have represented the administration acted in his capacity, despite reports indicating to the contrary.

This raises questions on both the integrity and competence of the Benue State Governor regarding the matter, and to the people of the state to whom he swore on oath to be accountable, he owes answers to those questions.

If indeed the Chief Protocol Officer to the Deputy Governor acted out of his brief in purporting to be representing the administration at the inauguration of the Fulani-run Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd, what measures has the Governor taken to assure the public there is order and discipline in his administration and that he is non complicit in the matter?

The founder of the security outfit, Aliyu Tershaku, a man profiled by Nigerian security agencies as a suspected terrorist, is quoted as having said at its inauguration that he will be working to resettle farmers displaced by Fulani herdsmen in the state back to their ancestral lands, raising the question; under whose authorization will this resettlement of IDPs assignment be carried out, if not Governor Alia?

Men of the suspicious Fulani security outfit are reportedly operating openly in parts of Makurdi, raising the question; is the Governor not aware of the existence and operations of an outfit of this nature right under his nose?

If he is aware, why has he allowed the group to operate under his administrative authority?

But if he is not, does that not raise even the more serious questions bordering on his competence to watch over and guarantee the security of lives and properties of Benue people?

PDP recalls that in April, 2022, a group known as Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Guards had sprung up on the streets of Makurdi, but in less than 48 hours, Governor Samuel Ortom had swung into action ordering the arrest of leaders of the outfit and effectively proscribing its activities in the state.

If Governor Alia indeed has no hand in the suspicious Fulani security outfit known as Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd, he should act to proscribe its activities in Benue State with immediate effect and also arrest and prosecute its leaders who are already known for imposing on the public mandate to resettle IDPs where it has no such authorisation.

The Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd saga presents a test case for the Alia administration and PDP warns the Governor not to treat it with levity as to do so will be to give the impression he is conniving with those suspected to have been behind the killings and terrorism which has ravaged and impoverished Benue State over the past decade.

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